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BS2153 Law of Contract

On returning to his car after a weekly shopping trip to the local supermarket on 15th August 2021, Janusz noticed a dent in his car’s front bumper and corner (see image above). The culprit was nowhere to be seen. On driving home, he heard a radio advertisement by Garthdon Panel Beaters (“GPB”) which contained information on their services. It reminded him that he had used them previously with a different car, and he remembered being impressed by the quality of their work. Janusz decided to stop by at their workshop, as it was located near the family home. 
David, GPB’s manager, recognised Janusz while discussing possible solutions. “We can just do the corner and bumper for £350 plus VAT. However, since the colour shade is very tricky, I would advise to include the front door, too, just to ensure it is all blended in perfectly. That would be around £400-500, plus VAT.” Janusz asked about whether car insurance would usually cover this. David suggested that it was worth enquiring; in his experience, however, the driver would have to pay the agreed excess amount, and his premiums would most likely increase, too.
Having thought about this for a minute, Janusz told David: “Let’s do it, and let’s do it properly, including the front door. When do you have an appointment available?” David responded that they were extremely busy; the earliest appointment slot would be on 13th September 2021. Janusz confirmed that this would suit him and left the workshop.
Three days later, Janusz spoke to his neighbour, Erin, who had spotted the dent in his car. It turned out that Erin had suffered a similar accident some time earlier in the year. She told him of Ryan who fixed her car for a reasonable price, doing an excellent job. Janusz decided to run the damage on his car past Ryan who said that he could fix it by 27th August for £350. Janusz left the car with Ryan near that date and the car has now been restored to its former glory!
On 14th September, Janusz received a text message from David, reminding him of the appointment. Janusz chose not to reply.
David is quite upset, as customers not sticking to agreed appointments had become an irritating regular occurrence. He seeks your advice on whether there was a contract between himself and Janusz. In researching and composing your advice, remember to remain balanced and objective!
Marking criteria
Content (including identification of relevant issues, understanding and application of the law, and critical discussion) Structure and presentation (including organisation of material and adherence to instructions) Research and referencing (including range and quality of sources cited, use made of sources, and adherence to OSCOLA referencing requirements)
1. You must identify and apply the legal principles, court decisions, other materials, that are relevant to the assignment. While you find older cases mentioned/discussed to some extent in contract law textbooks, you may want to explore more recent (relevant) cases which help you to assess the situation using Law Databases (particularly WESTLAW).  In any event, you must READ relevant cases in order to be able to apply them effectively and convincingly!
2. A good process which helps you to tackle problem questions in law is the IRAC method. Remember to take an objective approach in your analysis from the point of view of a reasonable person! What parties may subjectively think as stated in the problem scenario, the terminology they use etc. may not necessarily equate to objectivity in the legal sense.
3. Remember that your legal writing AND research skills are assessed as part of this exercise.  This means that you should research and use a variety of authoritative sources of contract law apart from the recommended textbook(s) (e.g. relevant court decisions themselves, Stair Memorial Encyclopaedia, Gloag, McBryde …) in order to research the legal principles applicable & relevant to the problem set. It is good practice to quote from your materials, especially court decisions (as these are the most important authorities) to add emphasis and punch to your arguments.
4. You must use footnotes for references to literature and cases ONLY; direct quotes from literature and judgments must be referenced EXACTLY.  Substantive points/arguments MUST NOT be raised in footnotes (i.e. no artificial deflation of the word count…)!
5. Apply a logical structure for your coursework: 
o commence with a short, scene-setting introduction which identifies what you are going to do in a focused manner and in what order (i.e. your plan of action) –avoid paraphrasing the question set;
o then offer a short explanation of the law relevant to the issues you identified, followed by a detailed and objective (balanced) analytical discussion and, crucially, application of the law to the facts as relevant to the problem;
o complete your discussion with a brief conclusion/summary: there may not be one definitive conclusion or outcome (due to the scant facts –you may have identified gaps in the factual evidence in your discussion), but you should state the most likely outcome based on your legal analysis and application of the law, and indicating whether there may be other likely outcomes.
6. Add a bibliography (excluding statutes and court decisions). Ensure all your references and bibliographical entries are conforming to the required standard(OSCOLA). Check your final version on adequacy of expression, style, coherence of structure and argument, typographical and grammatical errors, presentation, and that you are within the permitted word limit.
Academic Writing And Plagiarism
Before submitting assignments, you should check through it to ensure that: 
•    all material identified as originally from a previously published source has been properly attributed by the inclusion of an appropriate citation in the text;
•    direct quotations are marked as such (using “quotation marks” at the beginning and end of the selected text), and 
•    a citation has been included in the list of references at the end of the text.
This is really important in order to demonstrate that you composed your work in your own words and that you complied with the academic standard on referencing your source material. Thereby, you ensure that you avoid what the university terms as ‘plagiarism’:
Plagiarism is the practice of presenting the thoughts, writings or other output of another or others as original, without acknowledgement of their sources. All material used to support a piece of work, whether a printed publication or from electronic media, should be appropriately identified and referenced and should not normally be copied directly unless as an acknowledged quote. Text translated into the words of the individual student should in all cases acknowledge the source.” 
Additionally, the Law School interprets self-plagiarism as re-using in a coursework your own work that has previously been submitted for assessment in this or another course. It is not permitted, and this will be reflected in the mark awarded.
If you are struggling with composing your coursework, or academic writing in general, there is a lot of assistance available by the Student Advice and Support Team.
Note On Penalties, Extensions And Deferral Requests
The University operates a Fit to Sit Policy which means that if you undertake an assessment then you are declaring yourself well enough to do so.
Any student who uses 10% more words than the word count will have a marking sanction applied. The sanction will be to move the work down by way of a deduction of one grade. That is, what might otherwise have been a Grade A would be a Grade B, a grade B would be a grade C and so on. 
Work which far exceeds the word count (that is, is far in excess of 10%) will not meet the assessment criteria and this will be reflected in the mark awarded
Poor grammar and spelling, as well as poor referencing, can impede communication/the academic quality of your discussion, and may negatively impact on your overall mark.

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